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With a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Iowa State University, Pauli Mayfield said she knows how hard work and perseverance can pay off. 

That hard work and determination — four years of it on the pageant circuit — paid off Saturday as the 24-year-old Davenport woman was named Miss Iowa 2010.

She is the daughter of Clyde Mayfield and Julie Martens. Mayfield’s career ambition is to become a high school administrator.

“It’s amazing,” a smiling Mayfield said amid a crowd of well-wishers at the Adler Theatre in Davenport, where this year’s pageant was held.

“I’m so excited to start the year,” she said. “I know that being Miss Iowa is tough. But I worked so hard to this point, and I am so ready to take on the job.”

She will represent Iowa in the Miss America Pageant that will be aired Jan. 15 on ABC-TV.

Mayfield’s father, Clyde, said his daughter possesses a great deal of talent.

“She is a great example of hard work. The results are amazing,” he added. “That’s the message she wants to take to the kids.”

First runner-up was Elizabeth Davidson, 19, of Iowa City, who is Miss Muscatine and the daughter of David and Diane Davidson.

Second runner-up was Jennifer Neal, 23, of Epworth, who is Miss Pearl City and the daughter of John and Lynn Neal.

Third runner-up was Emily Slavens, 21, of Bettendorf, who is Miss Johnson County and the daughter of Joe and Ann Slavens.

Fourth runner-up was Gretchen Bruesehoff, 23, who is Miss Linn County and a native of Marmora, N.J. She is a student at the University of Iowa. She is the daughter of Mark and Diane Bruesehoff.

Iowa also has a new Outstanding Teen. Aly Olson, 17, of Des Moines, who is Miss Capital City’s Outstanding Teen, was crowned Friday during competition at the Adler Theatre.

She is the daughter of Lew and Carol Olson and a student at Abraham Lincoln High School. She will represent Iowa in the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Pageant in Orlando, Fla., in August.

Olson was chosen out of a field of 16 competing for the crown. The program is part of the Miss Iowa Scholarship Pageant.

Both programs are part of the Miss America Pageant.

First runner-up in the teen competition was Leah Bunkers, 16, of Newton. Second runner-up was Maggie Gehlsen, 14, of DeWitt, who is Miss Clinton County’s Outstanding Teen and the daughter of Tim and Nancy Gehlsen. Third runner-up was Molly McDonnell, 13, of Clinton, who is Miss Henry County’s Outstanding Teen and daughter of Mary McDonnell. Fourth runner-up was Abbey Bryant, 17, of Davenport, who is Miss Scott County’s Outstanding Teen and the daughter of Gary and Beth Bryant. 

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